NOTE: From June 2020, OVO mobile is now owned by Amaysim. Existing OVO mobile customers (including mobile broadband customers) will be transitioned to a plan with Amaysim. New customers will not be able to sign up to OVO.
If your child is coming to that age where a mobile phone makes a lot of sense for them to have, OVO Mobile is a prepaid provider that has two mobile plans catered towards this tender age. OVO Mobile has five mobile phone plans — two of which are targeted at kids, even though anyone can enjoy them.
With 500 minutes of standard national calls, unlimited text messages and 2GB of data for just $9.95 per 30 days, the ‘Mini’ plan would provide awesome value for anyone looking for a cheap, hassle-free prepaid deal. The next step up is the $14.95 plan, which comes with unlimited standard national calls and texts, plus 4GB data.
But what makes it a plan for kids? OVO Mobile is marketing this particular offer at parents of young children, as it also comes with a free subscription to Family Zone – an online cyber safety service which allows parents to control their child’s smartphone and set restrictions on what type of content they can access. This service would usually cost almost $60 a year on its own.
These plans add to OVO Mobile’s already impressive suite of prepaid plans which provide some of the best data-versus-price combinations around. OVO operates on the Optus 4G network. You can view the two kids’ plans below:
Its other four plans all bring unlimited talk and text, with data the only point of difference. You can get 8GB of data for $19.95, a generous 30GB for $29.95 and on the higher-level plans there’s 35GB for $34.95 and 40GB for $49.95 – all over 30 days. OVO Mobile also offers data-free streaming of various sports, including motor racing and gymnastics.
Of its latest plan targeted at parents with young children, OVO Mobile CEO Matt Jones said: “We set out to design a phone plan that is the most affordable on the market and delivers an unrivalled deal that beats all our competitors, and we have listened to parents who want inbuilt safeguards to protect their children.
“Parents want to stay connected with their children when they’re travelling on their own to and from school, and split families see mobiles as an easy way to stay in touch. But they are also concerned about keeping their children safe and that’s why we are inbuilding security measures to provide that peace of mind.”
Picking a phone plan for children
According to OVO Mobile, Australian children get their first smartphone at an average age of just 10. However, there are very few phone plans specifically tailored for children, although some carriers, such as Boost Mobile, are very much targeted at teenagers. In the case of Boost, this is mainly through cheap prepaid phones and data bonuses.
Parents looking for a good phone plan for their child would be well advised to seek a plan with unlimited talk and text, just in case of emergencies. While the $9.95 OVO Mobile plan falls short in terms of unlimited talk time, it does at least offer unlimited SMS/MMS. Parents may also prefer a prepaid plan rather than a postpaid alternative because of the potential to incur extra charges. However, postpaid plans will provide the security of being able to call or text any time, unlike prepaid plans which have expiry periods.
Postpaid plans do have their setbacks but bring the safety net of no expiry periods. Low-cost prepaid plans often have short expiry periods that you’ll need to look out for, although the OVO Mobile plan in question does last for 30 days – which eliminates the need to recharge every week or so. If you are looking to compare postpaid plans, there are a few low-cost options with small data inclusions that might suit your child, however you’ll want to be wary of excess data charges.
“There hasn’t been a competitive mobile plan catering for children until now. Even the phone giants have continued to ignore parents’ pleas for an affordable plan and peace of mind. Kids don’t make calls, but they need unlimited text, that’s the way they communicate, so we made sure we built a plan that fits their way of communicating with mum, dad and their friends,” added Mr Jones from OVO Mobile.
“Family Zone gives parents the power to not only block adult-rated or unrated content, it also notifies them if unsuitable content is being viewed, as well as enforcing study times and bedtime by locking the phone.”
All in all, OVO Mobile certainly seems to have come up with a good option for parents. Whether their kids feel the same way or not is another matter entirely.